False positive contact potential fingerprint devices considered


There are many problems with the old way of fingerprinting; namely, it's messy and time-consuming. Then there are the fingerprint scanners where you put your finger onto a SmartPhone, or glass sensor reader to allow yourself access - these too have their own challenges - is there another way? Well, it seems help in such technology may be on its way. Let's discuss this shall we?

There is an interesting research paper funded by the NIST (NISTIR 8159) titled: "Usability Testing of a Contactless Fingerprint Device: Part 2," researched and written by Brian Stanton, Mary Theofanos, Susanne Furman, Patrick J. Grother. (doi:10.6028-NIST.IR.8159). The paper discusses new technologies which can read a fingerprint without the individual putting their finger onto a glass screen, or inked and pressed onto paper.


Although more work is needed these technologies are of great promise and essentially work like mini-FRTs or small scale Face Recognition Technologies where they only scan a finger not an entire face. Why bother you ask? Well, consider if you will people at an airport or hospital. Touching a screen or glass is a good way to spread germs or MRSA for instance.


Also, people have perspiration, oils, and other chemicals on their hands and fingers, meaning the glass needs to be constantly cleaned to ensure a good read of the fingerprints each time - if not, they will give off erroneous data, false positives or fail to catch those who are attempting to infiltrate the system or are for some reason "undesirables" such as criminals, illegal aliens, etc. not to be confused with "deplorables" of course.

The paper states in its conclusion that: "The contactless device is an advanced optical design capable of collecting biometric data that can be authenticated. As with most biometric sensors, if the subject makes a presentation that does not conform to that intended by the system designers, a poor sample can result and recognition failure can ensue. The device appears to have excellent interoperability with the traditional optical scanners used to capture plain-impressions."



Currently, the contact scanners in the study got 100% accuracy in the control group, and the contactless scanners 0.06 error rate, but with users familiar with the system, having done it a few times the error rate is cut in half. The challenges are that the users fail to steady their hands or wave them too fast, or don't have their hands flat or over the sensors correctly the first few tries. If the machine doesn't capture it at first, the user is instructed to try again, then usually figures it out without any problems, like trying to scan your own groceries at the self-checkout, once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy.

I suggest an arm rest holder like that of canes with an arm extension, where the user rests their hands in the brace, thus their hand is steadier, and over the right area for proper scanning. Then I suggest a test with 10,000 people running through a line at an airport, stadium, Inauguration, NASCAR race, or concert. See if it picks people up within an FBI system or No-fly-List. The number of applications are endless and this might be good for users of Frequent Flyer lounges, government installations, labs, Universities, or military bases.

Source: Totalitech

The paper states in its conclusion that: "The contactless device is an advanced optical design capable of collecting biometric data that can be authenticated.